Malaysia: No more smoking at 6 parks soon

GEORGE TOWN: SIX recreational areas in Penang are set to become “no-smoking” zones, and are now in the final stages of being gazetted.


The six areas are the Penang Municipal Park, Botanical Gardens, the Air Itam Dam and Teluk Bahang Dam areas, Ampang Jajar Municipal Park and the Mengkuang Dam area in Berapit.

The State Health, Welfare and Caring Society committee chairman, Phee Boon Poh, made this announcement recently, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Malaysia Health Promotion Board (MySihat) and the Penang Heritage Trust.
The purpose of the MoU is to carry out the Smoke-Free Penang programme, which is a joint effort among the state Health Department, the state government and MySihat, assisted by non-governmental organisations, agencies, government and non-government departments here.

“In the initial stages of the implementation, enforcement will done in the form of advising and admonishing (educational enforcement) for a period of time,” said Phee.

Besides these six areas, Phee said the implementation of the programme in residential and commercial areas will be undertaken in three phases, with the first phase at the George Town World Heritage Site.

The other areas to be identified will be on the island and mainland.

“Before the programme begins, a survey among the stakeholders in the heritage zone will be carried out in September, and is expected to take four months to complete,” he said.

“We will begin the survey at the core zone, see the response, then extend it to the buffer zone,” he said.

On the issue of who would carry out enforcement, Phee said currently the mandate is with the Health Ministry.

“However, I will be submitting a paper to the state executive council to apply for the delegation of power to the Penang Island Municipal Council and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council to issue summonses in future,” he said.

At present, there are 21 gazetted no-smoking zones, under the sub-regulation 11(1) of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004. If found guilty of smoking in these areas, smokers can be fined maximum RM10,000 or face maximum two years’ jail.

Read more: No more smoking at 6 parks soon – Northern – New Straits Times